Waynestock 2012: For the Love of Phil, Night Two

The Lonetones, Relix Theater, Knoxville, February 2012

The second night picked up the energy from the first night and cranked it up a notch. I got there a bit late and only caught a portion of Sarah Schwabe’s set and my camera still had issues, so I got no pictures of her performance, which I regret because it was really good and it was obvious she enjoyed being reunited with her Jass Band.

Lisa McLeod and Jake Weinstein perform acrobatics

The Lonetones played next and played with quite a bit of muscle. This was the most rock and roll I’ve ever heard them sound, though they certainly haven’t turned into the Tim Lee Three. I really liked the amped-up sound and the songs they played may have had some new material mixed in. It all sounded very good and their performance feature a guest flutist from the Band of Humans and acrobatics to the side of the stage.

Jack Neely at Relix Theater, Knoxville, February 2012

Jack Neely made an appearance amid references to him being on the stage dressed in a diaper along with Phil Pollard. I missed that one and it isn’t so much an image I’ll dwell on. In any case, he introduced RB Morris who likewise reminisced about Phil and played a great set of somewhat less familiar songs, including “Old Road,” “Dreaming” and “Someone.”

RB Morris at Relix Theater, Knoxville, February 2012

RB Morris at Relix Theater, Knoxville, February 2012

RB Morris at Relix Theater, Knoxville, February 2012

One emotional highlight of the evening was his introduction from the stage of Madeline Rogero who didn’t take the microphone, but stayed in the audience after waving to the crowd and enjoyed the music for a couple of hours. You know there was a fancy party she could have attended with much more important and powerful people, but she didn’t. She chose to be with regular people and talented artists in a bar in Happy Holler. You have to love that. The crowd roared approval and RB launched in to “City” which is one of my all time favorite songs by anyone and is, of course, the song about Knoxville which Mayor Rogero quoted in her inaugural speech.

Madeline Rogero at Relix Theater, Knoxville, February 2012

The Tim Lee 3, fronted by Tim and Susan Lee stormed onto the stage next – or at least after the loss of power was resolved. They were as good as always, though they didn’t have the chance to stretch things out like they do in a full show.

Tim Lee 3 at Relix, Knoxville, February 2012

Tim Lee 3 at Relix, Knoxville, February 2012

Kevin Abernathy joined them and that’s always a power guitar treat. Enough thanks can’t be expressed to Tim and Susan for all the work they’ve done each of these two years to make this event happen. In any supportive community there are always good people doing the work in the background to make life better for everyone else and, I suspect, in Knoxville’s music community, that would be Tim and Susan.

Tim Lee 3 at Relix, Knoxville, February 2012

Kevin Abernathy joins Tim Lee 3 at Relix

Tim Lee 3 with guest at Relix, Knoxville, February 2012

After the Tim Lee 3, the coolest moment of the night took place when Phil’s parents took the stage to remember their son and to thank Knoxville for loving him. It was obvious Phil’s father is no shrinking violet himself and it was easy to see Phil in him. He also wore Phil’s famous stove pipe hat onto the stage.

Phil Pollard’s parents take the stage at Waynestock II, Relix

King Super and the Excellents closed down the show

The evening ended with King Super and the Excellents, of whom I’d never heard. They are a very talented band with the potential to add something very different to the Knoxville music scene. As you might guess from their name or from their zany attire, the group is sort of a Dadaesque send-off of a band. The trick for them, it seems to me, will be getting past the shtick and remembering that the music is what will make them, not the antics.

King Super and the Excellents, Relix, 2012

King Super and the Excellents, Relix, 2012

That said, they are very versatile and touched bases from Philly-esque R and B to powerpop (the most popular with the bar crowd) and even very credible covers of Pink Floyd. The musicianship and vocals popped all night. I really hope they will focus on the music as much as the revelry. The crowd went absolutely crazy during their show and I think everyone was exhausted by midnight.

I had one strange moment as I exited: Just before I got to the door I was grabbed forcefully from behind by a young man, who I assume was an employee, and he demanded frantically to know whether I had a drink in my hand. I assured him I didn’t and he pushed past me onto the sidewalk. When I followed him I realized there were two police cars outside with lights flashing, patrons detained and more police on the way.

I find the scene interesting because I’m assuming the issue was the open container law. If the police were actually targeting people who had just stepped outside with a drink – maybe to smoke a cigarette – that seems pretty grossly unfair given what I had seen earlier in the evening: People walking everywhere downtown with glasses of wine held in front of them. Pretty inconsistent.

Night three coming up next!